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September 05, 2008

Fest hits: Wrestler, RockNRolla, Anne Hathaway


Disheveled and road weary, with visible scuff marks and a stogie sticking out of his mouth. Just how we like to see Mickey Rourke. Say, didn't he come out of the womb like that?

His latest feature, Darren Aronofsky's "The Wrestler," is stirring up the Venice Film Festival, where it's already screened (today), and the Toronto International Film Festival, where it hasn't (scheduled for Sunday). Hopes are high that it'll get both a distribution deal and a fourth-quarter Oscar-qualifying release date.

Reviews have been across-the-board positive, with critics calling it a return to form for Aronofsky and a career high for Rourke. (Been jonesing to see him in a fabulous kick-ass movie since "Sin City").

Other festival chatter has it that Guy Ritchie has reverted, in a good way, with "RockNRolla" and that Anne Hathaway could be a contender for "Rachel Getting Married." Another name to watch: Sally Hawkins for the eternal optimist she plays in Mike Leigh's "Happy-Go-Lucky."

More fest news expected. Ya'll come back now.


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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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